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Older Americans could be Most Affected by the Upcoming Food Benefit Cut

The federal government’s proposed reduction in food assistance, which will impact 16 million families, could be particularly frustrating for older Americans.

Many elderly Americans may see their monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payment drop from $295 to as low as $23, the federal minimum, as a result of the expiration of a raise that Congress approved at the beginning of the pandemic.

Judith Borenin of Port Townsend, Washington, claimed that the additional SNAP payments she has been receiving for the past 3 years have helped her purchase fresh veggies, meat, and dairy products. She purchased strawberries, oranges, and grapes, though she thought the strawberries were a bit of a luxury.

The state’s Department of Social and Health Services informed 70-year-old Borenin this week that the additional funds would no longer be available. She will only be paid $60 the following month.

“I suppose I should load up on canned soup and crackers,” she added.

The “emergency allotments” established in March 2020 to aid SNAP participants in surviving the pandemic were chosen by Congress to expire in March 2023. This decision was made in December. Based on the Food Research and Action Center, the average cut will be around $82 per person, for a monthly reduction in spending of almost $3 billion.

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